A promising upstream landscape in Angola TEY_post_Alfredo-FORTUNATO

We definitely expect to be part of operations in at least six of Angola’s operating blocks. That’s our main goal.

Alfredo FORTUNATO Managing Director CERTEX ANGOLA

A promising upstream landscape in Angola

February 19, 2024

Alfredo Fortunato, managing director of Certex Angola, talks to The Energy Year about how the uptick in Angola’s upstream activity has impacted the company’s operations and the importance of its new workshop for leveraging this uptick. Certex Angola provides supply, rental, inspection, testing, certification and training services for the oil and gas sector.

How has the uptick in activities in the Angolan upstream sector impacted Certex Angola’s operations?
2023 was a very good year for us. It exceeded our expectations. We continued working to reach our goals regarding our provision of lifting equipment, maintenance, inspections and certifications, and training.
Our vendor performance level kept increasing, and we’ve had great feedback from our clients. 2023 was indeed a very busy year for us, while we expect 2024 to be even busier, with new services that we will be expanding into. Our growth was driven by our work with Baker Hughes, as well as by more activity with ExxonMobil, OPS and some other clients, including Halliburton.

How important is your new workshop at the Sonils base for leveraging the industry’s growth?
We expect to open our new workshop to our clients and to the industry in the first quarter of 2024. This has been a crucial part of the strategy that we set over the past two years. It is a great achievement and milestone for Certex Angola.
We have invested close to USD 4 million in lifting equipment there, funding this fully internally. We continue believing that we can grow in this tough environment. This workshop definitely highlights Angola’s dedication to growth and our role in the oil and gas lifting industry.
It will also help us continue making strategic partnerships with international EPCI providers, which is very important for us.


What are your perspectives on new developments in Angola’s upstream sector?
We are very excited. We definitely expect to be part of operations in at least six of Angola’s operating blocks. That’s our main goal. We believe that there’s a lot to cover and a lot to come, and we’re just waiting to take part in the new developments.
As of September 2023, we had 42 employees, and we expect that number to grow throughout 2024. We expect to increase the number of jobs as such. In fact, it’s part of our strategy to become a government partner. Increasing the number of jobs means more contributions in terms of taxation and to Angola’s economy.
Our potential contribution to the development of oil and gas operations in Namibia is also a source of excitement for us.

How important is it for Certex Angola to contribute to the country’s Angolanisation efforts?
It is very important. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, we had set a pledge to leverage the skills of our employees, emphasising local staff. We have sent a couple of employees to the UK, namely to Scotland, to be trained. During the pandemic slowdown, we stopped, but it’s something we will continue investing in.
We will do so because we believe that making investments in local content will leverage the local workforce. Having a strong local workforce means a lot for the country. It is our plan to reduce the number of expats and install local talent in key positions.
Additionally, the ANPG plays an important role in this. The reinforcement of the local contract law will help local companies be more competitive and grow. We believe and expect that the ANPG will keep on reinforcing the law to give opportunities to the local companies with service quality and know-how.

As local content is strengthened, how can the Angolan upstream industry change in the coming years?
We believe that this is going to be quite good for the country. We should see more and more Angolan players even working as upstream operators. They have existed for quite a while, but they are becoming stronger. We are just excited to see the outcome of this. We believe that there’s going to be excitement for all of us because we are also a local entity, and we can provide services to them.
Five years from now, we’ll have a significant presence on very important projects, and we will keep providing the local workforce with the skills that the industry needs. The skills of employees have to be connected to a continuously evolving reality, such as AI and new technologies. Our people will have to be reshaped and retrained. Continuing to invest in human capital is very important. This is one of our main goals: establishing that we are a serious local entity, focused on the government’s vision.

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